For many of us heading off to the gym after work or first thing in the morning is just a way of life but for the other half of the population, a gym membership is that expensive monthly thing you pay for but never use.
If you hate going to the gym and the idea of working out in front of other people makes you come out with a nervous rash, then maybe working out at home is a better and cheaper option for you.
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The decision of whether to work out at home or the gym can come down to the type of workout you want to do as if you use a lot of the big gym machines, it might not be practical to try to have those installed at home.
However, if you have some space, it is certainly simple to buy a couple of pieces of gym equipment such as a mat, weights, and some online programs and to work out efficiently at home.
Here are some of the things to consider when weighing up whether to work from home or pay for that gym membership.
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Positives for Working Out at Home
It’s free – you don’t need to pay any membership fees, you can wear an old t-shirt and shorts without being judged and you can even do many workouts without any kind of equipment at all.
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It’s easy – you don’t have to follow a set timetable of classes; you can just do whatever workout you want, whenever you want to. You don’t have to rush after work or get up at crazy times before work because you don’t have to travel anywhere.
It’s varied – you can do any kind of workout you like at home instead of sticking to rigid classes or set machines. You can do yoga, go for a run, follow online programs and apps, or use weights; it’s entirely your choice.
It’s just you – there is no one else there watching you, judging if you have the latest gear, or how to fit you are and you don’t have to be self-conscious about looking sweaty and you don’t have to deal with the embarrassment of changing rooms.
Negatives for Working Out at Home
Motivation – it can be hard to motivate yourself on your own and you might find yourself doing chores instead of your workout. With no dedicated set time for exercising you might decide to watch TV instead.
Distractions – it can be easy to get distracted by family needing things from you, the phone ringing, or checking emails. You don’t have the focused time to yourself that you get from escaping to the gym.
Boredom – with no one to talk to and nothing to motivate you it is possible you will become bored of your home workout and give up on it too quickly. You can’t talk to a personal trainer for advice on how to keep going.
Space – clearly a regular house doesn’t have the same space as a gym so you might end up hitting your arms on lampshades or sharing your workout area with pets while trying to concentrate at home.
Positives for Joining a Gym
Lots of choices – at a gym there are many different options from all the machines, the weights, balls, classes and often even swimming and other sports as well. You have a lot more choices at a gym.
Motivation – being around other people can be motivating particularly if you work out with a gym buddy. Or else you can speak to the trainers who work at the gym for advice and support on your workout.
Focus – at the gym you can only exercise, you don’t have all the distractions and interruptions which you are likely to get working out at home. It gives you dedicated time.
Negatives of Joining a Gym
It’s expensive – some gyms cost upfront and then a monthly fee, and then you have to pay on top for classes so it can become very expensive and you feel like you have to be there all the time to justify it, but life gets in the way of that.
It takes time – getting all your stuff ready, driving to the gym, changing, working out, showering, changing, and coming home again can take a big chunk of time out of your day that you might want to spend doing other things.
People – gyms are noisy and full of sweaty loud people and you don’t know who was just touching all the equipment you are about to use, which can put anyone off joining up. You feel judged or observed by others in the gym while working out and can end up feeling negative about yourself and your fitness levels which is a real demotivator and enough to have you reaching for the comfort food.